UNODC brings "The Freedom to look" Project to a female prison of the Brazilian Federal District

Brasília, 4 February 2015 - After a successful implementation in two penitentiaries in Porto Alegre and in the Temporary Detention Center of Brasilia, "The Freedom to Look" Project was taken to the female prison of the Brazilian Federal District.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the European Union Delegation in Brazil and with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Health aims to develop a methodology for raising awareness and and building capacity on human rights in prisons.  To do so, photography workshops were held between the 19 and 23 January. The participants had the chance to express their views on the prison environment by capturing images that represent the perceptions and feelings of those who live everyday life of Brazilian prisons.

The images produced by the participants were used in the project's second stage which was held between the 26 and 30 January. In this second moment, discussions on human rights were held based on the chosen photographs. The photos served as instruments to open up a space for dialogue about the relations and perceptions among imprisoned persons and prison staff, approaching concepts and guidelines on issues related to gender, vulnerabilities, disease prevention and violence.

15 inmates and 14 prison staff of the health, administration, security and social assistance departments of the prison settings, that share specific internal spaces every day, but with radically different perspectives and roles, attended the workshops.


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The first edition of the Project was initiated on August 2013 at the Madre Pelletier Female Prison and at Porto Alegre's Central Prison. One of its results was the "Freedom to look" exhibition which displayed the result of two photography workshops held with 17 inmates and 18 professionals from Madre Pelletier Female Prison and Porto Alegre's Central Prison. Overall, over 100 images that illustrate the daily life of the two prisons, produced during the workshops by people who live this reality every day, were exhibited together with testimonials from the participants. The exhibition was held in 2013 at the Usina do Gasômetro and at the Praça Quinze de Novembro in Porto Alegre. The exhibition was also taken to the Global Forum on Human Rights and to the IV Exhibition on Primary Care. In 2014, the exhibition was taken to Vienna to be presented at the Global Consultation on HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support in Prison Settings and in December was taken to the I #ZeroDiscrimination International Film Exhibition.

In November 2014, it was held the second edition of the Project in the Temporary Detention Center of Brasilia (CDP) in Brasilia which was attended by 17 prison staff, 15 inmates and 4 teachers of the prison settings.

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